Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript E, no. 4-213

Kay Ḵosrow Gives Amnesty to the Ladies of Afrāsiyāb

Location: Current whereabouts unknown
36.0 x 22.7 cm (after Sothebys)
Painting: m
ain part not including balcony in the left margin 17.0 x 14.5 cm (scaled)
Text area: 25.5 x 14.5 cm. (after Sothebys)
Text: four column; deepest columns 13 lines on a 30 line per full page matrix. On reverse 30 lines of four column text.
Illustration number: The number 49 written in Arabic numerals, presumably of later date, is hardly visible in the left margin just above center, probably indicating that it was the forty-ninth painting in the manuscript. Written in pencil in the lower right corner in Western numerals is the number 65; this coincides with another inscription, 895 over 65 written in pencil at the extreme bottom near the center possibly written by Hassan Khan Monif in the twentieth century.

Kay Ḵosrow, in vermilion robe, sits on an elevated throne in the upper left, framed by an arched panel decorated with foliage. A sword bearer stands behind him and two musicians are seated in the lower left foreground. Three ladies of the household of Afrāsiyāb -- the mother on the far right, and her two daughters - stand before Ḵosrow pleading he grant them quarter in his war against Afrāsiyāb. Tiled walls, a tiled or carpeted floor, and a small tree complete the set.

There are four columns of text above and below the painting. At the top the two outside columns are each comprised of nine lines, and the center columns of six lines each with a captivated chapter title. Below the pattern is repeated, but the outside columns comprise five lines each, and the center columns three lines. A rectangular ruled frame encloses painting and text except in the upper left where a small balcony protrudes into the left margin. It is not signed or dated, but the style is much in keeping with Moʿin's other work and may be a collaborative effort with a studio assistant.

Painting references:
Sothebys London, 14 April 2010, Lot 63

Text references:

Warner, IV, pp.213-16. Mohl, IV, pp.210-11.

Photo courtesy of Sothebys.

Robert Eng

Last Updated: April 30, 2013 | Originally published:
April 30, 2013